A short review of the distribution and behavior of rare earth elements in the Southern South China Sea

Zolhizir Daud, Che Abd. Rahim Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this work is to review the distribution and behavior of rare earth elements (REE) in the southern South China Sea region especially in the atmosphere, land, seawater, river, surface sediment and in suspended particulate matters (SPM). The South China Sea is a strategic ocean basin with currently undergoing vast development. China has been the largest REE producer in the world since 2010 producing about 90% of the world's REE supplies followed by the United States of America, Australia and ASEAN countries. In the southern South China Sea, the geological texture plays an important role for the abundance of REE. REE is widely distributed throughout northern South China Sea continental shelf within the boundaries of several ASEAN zone countries especially Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, west Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. REE is used as a tracer and proxy in geochemistry and marine sedimentation disciplines as an indicator of the origins and patterns of sediment and soil and in both dissolved and particulate phases. It is extremely important to understand the chemical properties and behavior of REEs so as to be able to clarify the natural bioavailability and scavenging and absorption processes, complexes and precipitation during biogeochemical reactions. REE is transported and accumulated during the natural weathering process on land and moves to rivers and oceans, affecting the distribution and deposits of elements. There is no specific or systematic REE cycle model developed in the world. REE research was carried out and documented by Piper and Henderson in the early 1980s. This manuscript will address the relation and effect of REEs on the marine ecosystem and ecology, as well as its impact on human civilization especially in the realms of politics, the environment, society and economy. As a conclusion the distribution of REE as reviewed in past research is presented in the model REEsurface sediment > REEorganism > REEtotal suspended solid > REEPM10 > REEriver > REEseawater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalPollution Research
Volume35
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Rare earth elements
rare earth element
Sediments
ASEAN
Rivers
distribution
sea
Aquatic ecosystems
Geochemistry
sediment
Scavenging
Ecology
Weathering
Seawater
Sedimentation
Chemical properties
civilization
suspended particulate matter
ocean basin
marine ecosystem

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Distribution
  • Rare earth elements (REE)
  • South China Sea
  • Southern South China Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution

Cite this

A short review of the distribution and behavior of rare earth elements in the Southern South China Sea. / Daud, Zolhizir; Mohamed, Che Abd. Rahim.

In: Pollution Research, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2016, p. 235-246.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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